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Pierce County sheriff’s deputy dies from surgery related to on-duty assault

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm with 33 Comments »
March 3, 2011 10:53 pm
Courtesy of Pierce County Sheriff's Department

A 29-year-old Pierce County sheriff’s deputy died tonight, less than 24 hours after undergoing surgery for injuries he suffered during an on-duty assault.

Roughly 50 off-duty deputies responded to Shandon Wright’s South Hill home after hearing that paramedics had been called to check on the man’s condition about 7:30 p.m.

“They worked on him as hard as they could but he passed away,” said department spokesman Ed Troyer. “This is a duty-related death. Everybody’s shocked at what happened.”

The off-duty deputies escorted Wright’s body to the Medical Examiner’s Office and gathered in the back parking lot to console one another.

The deputy was home with his wife and 2-year-old daughter when he began having trouble breathing.

Wright suffered the injury Aug. 19 after responding to a call in Spanaway about a possibly armed man threatening somebody. Wright and his partner found the suspect sitting in a truck in the 1700 block of 5th Avenue East.

The man refused to get out of the truck or cooperate with deputies so, after a struggle, they pulled him from the vehicle, Troyer said. The man then grabbed the deputies’ legs and tried to knock them to the ground.

He was eventually overpowered and arrested. Deputies found a gram of marijuana in his pocket, a crow bar on the front seat and a large fixed blade knife on the floorboard.

Wright was in physical rehabilitation for his shoulder but recently blew it out, Troyer said. He underwent surgery Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Department will conduct a death investigation, said Troyer, which could include charges against the person who assaulted Wright.

Sheriff Paul Pastor said Wright has been with the department for five years.

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. rangerboy says:

    Prayers with the family.

  2. MadTaxpayer says:

    RIP Brother!

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I was on Canyon Road when the deputies escorted their fallen brother. It was such a sad thing to witness…

  4. jaylyn1968 says:

    Prayers and deepest thoughts to family and friends

  5. janderson says:

    My heart goes out to all concerned… this is a tough one.

  6. snoopey70 says:

    May you rest in Peace. Stay strong family.

  7. God… please.
    Please protect and bless this thin blue line that risks their lives every day.
    Pierce County is very fortunate to have such great cops. To lose even one is horrific. To lose so many… it shakes you to the core.

  8. Another sad day in Pierce co. What sucks even more, if the cause of his death is a result from the injury and not due to malpractice, the subject who caused the injury will only face assault charges thanks to Wa State Supreme Court.

    R.I.P Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Wright

  9. PolarBear53 says:

    Sad, and frustrated. How could this happen? Blood clot? Life can be so unfair and cruel. Hug your kids, call your parents. Make sure you tell someone you love them because you never know when your time is up. Rest In Piece young man thank you for all that you gave our community. Thank you PCSO

  10. I pray for the young mans family. May God be with them

  11. WOW this is so sad! My prayers go out to his family, friends and his law enforcement family.

  12. twade0616 says:

    R.I.P Deputy Wright. My prayers and best wishes to his family and friends.

  13. omega629 says:

    I guess i dont get it. He hurt his shoulder, was in rehab, then blew it out and then needed surgery?? Was he treated at the scene for shoulder injury all the way back in august?? What was he doing that made him blow it out?? I just feel this is a little stretch of trying to pin this on a duty related injury.

  14. ItalianSpring says:

    Please notice how the assault on this officer never apparently appeared as a news story anywhere. One has to wonder how often the news media chooses to ignore these incidents and what their reason is for doing so. I hope the suspect who assaulted this officer ends up facing a much more serious charge because if it weren’t for his his assault, the officer would not have been injured, and therefore he would have not required surgery, and therefore he would not be gone today. I believe a murder 2nd degree charge might fit here. It’s time for prosecutors to ALWAYS persue felony charges in assault on cop cases, and perhaps the state should reclassify resisting arrest as a felony offense as well. This isn’t rocket surgery.

  15. So sad for the family:(.

    Wish the article made a little more sense, though…you don’t have trouble breathing from a a shoulder injury. Hopefully that will get explained in the next few days.

  16. This type of tragedy is not that uncommon, I recently buried a 26 year old cousin who tripped on a step at a wedding reception and broke his ankle. Acouple months later while in a walking cast a blood clot broke loose and traveled to his lung killing him also. God bless this family during this tragic time with peace and comfort.

  17. nonstopjoe says:

    Proximate cause will have to be proven.

  18. Shattah206 says:

    A direct result of people getting booted out of the hospital too soon — the first sentence indicates it was <24h post-op. What was he doing at home already?!!

    Charging the POS who initially assaulted him is a good idea, but if I was his defense atty, I would definitely bring this crappy "policy" up.

  19. littledude55 says:

    rest in peace

  20. dustdevil11 says:

    What a tragedy. I’m wondering if the death of a Federal Way officer several months ago, which was later ruled non-duty related while the officer was on duty played any part in how quickly the Sheriff declared this officer’s death job-related. Should some so-called outside investigation suggest other wise, hopefully, the department’s rapid statement will play an affirmative role.

  21. Thank you for your service. May you rest in peace Deputy Wright. A prayer for strength for your wife and young child as well as your brothers and sisters on the force. This is so very,very sad.

  22. fivecardstud says:

    I hate to see anyone that young go, deputy of milkman. My prayers go out to this family.

  23. Pecksbadboy says:

    It is very sad that someone so young dies but the TNT and the local news station’s love to say the death was “job related”.

    It is a shoulder injury and it was NOT life threatening so it is not duty related. Who paid for 50 officers to, with city supplied vehicles to escort the body to the morgue?

    Can city garbage trucks follow a body of a refuse worker who dies of a medically unknown condition on the taxpayers dime?

  24. GiveItaRest says:

    ‘I guess i dont get it. He hurt his shoulder, was in rehab, then blew it out and then needed surgery?? Was he treated at the scene for shoulder injury all the way back in august?? What was he doing that made him blow it out?? I just feel this is a little stretch of trying to pin this on a duty related injury.’

    I agree. This has more to do with building support for a bill in the legislature to provide for families of officers who die from on-duty injuries.

    It’s wrong to put the taxpayer on the hook for something that typical life insurance purchased by the family should cover. These unaffordable giveaways need to stop. If they don’t, the entire general fund will be swamped by the cost of labor.

  25. steve_allison says:

    too much debate without all the facts group. The facts will come out in due time as will the cause of death and contributing factors . Duty related or not it is a tragic and sudden loss of a young person. You just never know when it’s your time, enjoy the time you have and try to do good things every day. Kind thoughts to the family .

  26. itwasntmethistime says:

    I can’t believe I’m the first person to bring this up, but this never would have happened if they had just shot the guy, like they usually do.

  27. imissmymother1 says:

    How could this be on the job? I’m not getting this. Is this officer related to Curtis Wright? Sorry he died but one less cop to worry about.

  28. Nicedad2000 says:

    Pecksbadboy says >>>>>>>>>>>>>>”Who paid for 50 officers to, with city supplied vehicles to escort the body to the morgue?

    Can city garbage trucks follow a body of a refuse worker who dies of a medically unknown condition on the taxpayers dime?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I could have sworn the arcticle mentions the responding officers were off duty? I searched the arcticle as hard as I could and can’t see the part about the off duty officers using “city supplied vehicles” either. Maybe Mr. Pecksbadboy is assuming? You know what they say when we assume?

  29. I knew deputy wright. I never much cared for law enforcement, Most I have met were not very personable. Deputy Wright worked our neighborhood in unicorporated bonney lake a year ago, nights. He was one of the good ones. He helped us deal with a vandal(tire slashing paint spraying.) The vandal then started harassing after he was caught and Deputy Wright continued to help us push through till prosecuction. Even when Wright dealt with the vandal he treated him fairly eventhough I wanted him not to. It was sad to see him get assigned to a different neighborhood. I ran into him a while back and we caught up for a few minutes. He was in this profession to SERVE and protect. In my experience he did our neighborhood and myself right. He truly was a good guy and that can’t always be said. My thoughts and prayers for your wife and little girl. Thank You for your service.

  30. herring1994 says:

    Yeah, this seems like a stretch from a shoulder injury. I’ve known several people to get their shoulders dislocated. Some from playing sports and some in combat. They’re all still living. Perhaps the issue to be considered here is the use of prescription painkillers (just a speculation). Oxycontin tends to slow the heartrate down while killing the pain. If it is abused, it could cause death. I hate what happened to the officer to as I have relatives who are in law enforcement.
    My concern is that people won’t let their emotions run wild and the prosecutor(s) go on another witchhunt trying to convict someone who could not have possibly caused the death of this officer. Charge the guy for what he did and not waste taxpayer money.

  31. DrewHendricks says:

    This is BS. The issue is obviously malpractice, or bad luck. The stupid notion of blaming it on a person with whom the Deputy decided to have a physical altercation SIX MONTHS AGO is typical of cops – blame everyone else for their own choices. Good luck trying to get any charges filed against this guy who “assaulted” the Deputy. (and who actually GOT assaulted BY the Deputy).

  32. This was an elective surgery secondary to a shoulder “blow out” likely caused by injuries sustained in addition to those sustained while on-duty. Did this officer lift weights? Play sports? How well did he care for his shoulder and could he have prevented the “blow out?” If pulmonary embolism was cause of death, this is a risk of any invasive orthopedic surgical procedure and sadly, not uncommon. Since surgery wasn’t required after the trauma to his shoulder 6 months ago, I really don’t think it makes sense to blame the subject for this officer’s tragic and untimely death. I am sad for the family and the department, but Americans really need to let go of the blame-game syndrome that plagues our society. We serve… we protect… that’s what we sign up for and we know the risks. Cops… read the small print before you undergo anesthesia… it talks about potential for blot clots after being cut like this. Take blood thinners after your procedure and follow Dr’s instructions. We will not know if this officer could have done anything differently…. but I a believer that EVERY decision we make has consequences… and we need to own them- especially enforcers of the law.

  33. MadTaxpayer says:

    Enough of the BS! It is a profession 99.99% of the population cannot do.

    Let us respect this young Deputy and his profession one last time before he is buried.

    As I said, RIP Brother! You will be missed!

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